30 Things You Didn't Know About
The History Of The Orange Order
(And Probably Didn't Want To)
'Orangeism – The Making of a Tradition' by Kevin Haddick-Flynn
Wolfhound Press, Dublin 1999, 448 pp, £ 30
- You doubtless knew that King William was a homosexual Dutch dwarf (for we never tire reminding you) but were you aware that he was also a hunchback (sorry, 'spinally challenged')
- In 1675 the future King Billy came down with smallpox. His doctors thought that he was dying and decided that the only cure was 'for a young man of his own age to lie with him all night.' The Dutch hero who volunteered for this rather unpleasant task was his paramour Hans Willem Bentinck. The proximity of Hansie's throbbing young body apparently produced a sweat which led to William's recovery, to say nothing of the spilling of the Royal seed.
- In order to advance his cause William married Mary Stuart, daughter of James and niece of Charles II in 1677. The plan was that their children would safeguard the Protestant restoration. Alas, for some strange reason, they had no progeny.
- 1689 – The Siege Of Derry. Lundy wasn't a traitor. Captain Adam Murray, far more than the 'Apprentice Boys' was responsible for the defense of Derry.
- 1689 One of the Derry 'heroes' was the Rev. George Walker (originally from Yorkshire). The year later he appeared at the battle of the Boyne where, alas, he was shot down along with the elderly Duke of Schomberg as they tried to cross the Boyne shouting 'huzza!'. William, who was himself shot and wounded, upon being told of the demise of the loyal Duke and reverend petulantly asked 'why were they there, the fools'.
- The vast majority of William's 36,000 troops were mercenaries from Europe. They outnumbered the Irish (25,000) and outgunned them – they had 30 fieldpieces to the Jacobites' 6, and they had the recently developed flintlock whereas the Irish had the older matchlock.
- King William only spent 12 days in Ulster – June 14th-June 26th, 1690 – and 12 weeks in toto in Ireland.
- It was the only time he visited Ireland – and did a 'Reginald Maudling' as in 'what a terrible place, give me a drink'. He never came back.
- James II was of course a cowardly buffoon who betrayed his men, (he was known to some of his 'loyal troops' as 'Jimmy Dung', but so was the gallant Catholic General Henry Luttrell who ran away at the Battle of Aughrim after Jacobite leader St. Ruth's head was carried off by a stray cannon ball. Luttrell then deserted again at Limerick and ended up accepting a pension from King William. Some irredentists however never forgave nor forgot and in 1717 (Nov. 3) he was shot in his sedan chair in Stafford Street in Dublin. His 'assailants' (prototype Invincibles) were never apprehended.
- Bored with Ireland, King Billy turned his attention to Europe and to Scotland. In 1691 his troops were responsible for the Massacre of Glencoe of the MacDonald clan – 33 men, 2 women and 2 children slaughtered after safe conduct had been promised, in writing, by William.
- William's wife Mary died of the pox. William himself followed her 8 years later (Feb 21, 1702) when his horse tripped over a mole hill in Richmond Park. The name of the noble steed was Sorrell.
- 274 years later another Orangeman, Brian 'Spiderman' Faulkner, fell off his gallant nag and snuffed it in County down. Another mole hill and a tip of the hat to the little gentleman in black velvet. The name of Führer Faulkner's horse was Cannonball. After being interrogated in Castlereagh it admitted another four murders. [All right, we made the last bit up]
- William was not a popular king in England, being regarded as surly and morose. Also, the fact that he spoke very little English didn't help. When they opened him up after his death they found 'his lungs were shrivelled and rotten'.
- William's horse at the Boyne was not white. It was brown. The tradition of the 'white horse' didn't arise until over a hundred years later.
- In 1701 the burghers of Dublin commissioned Grinling Gibbons to make a statue of King William which was put up outside Trinity College in Dublin. Every year there was a march to the statue which was then 'decorated' with patriotic apparel. In 1710 the statue was 'defaced' and a truncheon cut off. Huge rewards were posted and eventually three Trinity students – Graffon, Vinicombe and Harvey were arrested. Harvey escaped but the other two were expelled from Trinity, forced to stand with a placard saying 'I stand here for defacing the statue of our glorious Deliverer, the late King William'. The statue was a frequent target for Nationalist rage but survived until 1929 when the IRA blew it up.
- The IRA also blew up the pillar on Derry's walls dedicated to the Rev. Walker (12.01 a.m., August 28, 1973 – see stained glass window in Bogside Inn).
- In 1786 Loyal Protestants finally got round (almost 100 years later) to putting up a pillar to Schomberg at the Boyne. The Drogheda IRA blew it away in 1923. Nevertheless, the remnants of it, known as 'the stump' are still a place of pilgrimage for the Orange Order. [Trivial pursuit question – Who was "Stumpy Lloyd"?]
[This bit's got nothing to do with the LOL but it's interesting (for some of us). Hamilton Rowan, the Protestant landowner in County Down was a prominent United Irishman. He was also, as were many in his day, a Freemason. However, when in France he joined the 'Grand Orient', met Adam Weishaupt and became enrolled in the 'Illuminati.' see Robert Anton Wilson, passim]
- The Battle Of The Diamond.
Traditionally the Orange Order supposedly came into being after the 'Battle of the Diamond.' What really happened at The Diamond?
The Diamond (4 miles from Loughgall in Co. Armagh) 1795. September 14. A band of Catholic bigots – or 'defenders' arrive on the hillside and determine to burn out the local Loyalist thugs from Dan Winter's Cottage and shebeen at the crossroads (where there are no young Irish colleens or buckos besporting themselves in a free and Gaelic manner) They are led by a self styled 'Captain Quigley' who is also a Far East. He carries a banner with a picture of the BVM with the exhortation 'deliver us from these heretic dogs and set us free!'.
- 'Captain Quigley' exhibited a dictatorial authority. When he bellowed the troops ran at his beck and call, men arriving from as far away as Monaghan.
- 'The defenders' marched to traditional Irish airs in fine order, all dressed in green, and carried a variety of weapons, mainly antique muskets or rusty bayonets fixed to poles. Father Quigley carried an ancient blunderbus which became a figure of fun. Every time he fired it it was so loud that the mob cheered 'there goes Quigley!'.
- Quigley's heroes attacked the cottage and set it on fire. The Winters who were inside escaped through the back and ran up the hill where they found Buddra Wilson, the head of the Peep O day Boys and his troops. They waited until the Defenders ran up the hill after the Winters and then shot them four by four. It was a total rout. About 25 Catholics dead. Nary a Prod.
- Prods descend down hill and back to the ruins of Winters' cottage, then go off to Sloan's pub for a gargle and form the Orange Order – all as a result of the incompetent Quigley.
- But what happened the blessed priest? I hear you cry. Alas, mes enfants, he decided two years later, on the eve of the 1798 uprising, to absent himself to France along with Arthur O'Connor a rich United Irishman who didn't have the stomach for the oncoming fight. They were both apprehended by the Brits in Margate in Kent. Fr. Quigley, a native of Mullaville, Co. Armagh, was hanged on Pennington Heath. As he dropped, a Co. Armagh man in the audience allegedly shouted 'there goes Quigley'.
- But! The most interesting part of the tale is that Quigley's blunderbus is now in the small Orange museum in the main street in Loughgall, which is open to the public. Inquiring minds want to know when the fighting Quigley family are going to avenge their ancestor's murder and reclaim his trusty blunderbus. No decommissioning! Rescue the Quigley blunderbus!
- The real 'founder' of the Orange Order however was a member of the Royal Dublin Militia, one Captain John Giffard. He was at the Diamond that day and took the wheeze of what he termed 'a society that for generations will crib the Papists' back to Dublin where he interested some of the rich Anglo-Irish Protestants. Giffard's nickname was 'the Dog in Office'. He 'ran' the ultra 'Loyalist' newsrag Faulkners Dublin Journal, a pro-Dublin Castle sheet. His other nom de plume was 'The sham Squire'.
- Henry Grattan (of Grattan's Parliament), hardly a 'radical' called Giffard 'the hired traducer of his country, the ex-communicated of his fellow citizens, the regal rebel, the unpunished ruffian and the bigoted agitator'. Giffard responded by running away and sending a letter to Dublin to Grattan saying 'I could spit on you in the desert' (Unclear on the concept?).
- The price of a 'warrant' to establish your very own Orange Lodge in 1796 was One Irish Guinea – which, rather bizarrely worked out at £1.2s.9d. This discouraged the riff raff and encouraged the landed gentry to take over.
- Warrant No.5 was obtained by Robert Irwin of Kinnego. 'Like many early Orangemen he was initiated in a ceremony behind a ditch'. [I have not the slightest idea what this entails, and probably don't really want to know.]
- If you want to know some very silly passwords to various Orange Institutions, referring to Moab, Jericho, the Ark of the Covenant and sheep, read pp. 153-154 of the book. Actually, some of them are too smutty for our taste.
- According to Sir Winston Churchill 'all of George III's sons were 'obnoxious'. By far the worst were Frederick Augustus, Duke of York [yes, that 'grand old duke of York'] and Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. 'Coincidentally' they were the two who accepted high office in the Orange Order.
We're only a third the way through the book, but we mustn't spoil it all for you!
All levity aside, Kevin Haddick-Flynn has done his best. He's meticulous, scholarly, fair, impartial and he has striven mightily to find something good to say about the Orange Order. Years of research and, alas, he's drawn a blank. That's because there is NOTHING good to say about the triumphalist crypto-fascist morons.
And, very seriously, Kevin Haddick-Flynn has produced by far the best, most readable and scholarly book to date on the Orange Order. Forget your Don Akenson, your Michael Dewar, your RF Forster, your Hereward Senior, your ATQ Stewart. Assuredly flush the abominable Ruth Dudley Edward's pathetic apologia for the Brethren down the nearest convenience, but get out there and buy
Orangeism – The Making Of a Tradition
Kudos to Wolfhound Press and Kevin Haddick-Flynn.
Eat Your Hearts Out Harold Gracey, Davy Jones, Eoghan Harris and the Dud Edwards